happy list

Happy List: #136

Hello, hello!

This week I’d like to give a shout out to kind neighbors. One of my neighbors, who recently brought me muffins and a mum, stopped by to check on me. She noticed that our American flag was flying upside down and, apparently, that is a sign of distress. She left her car running in her driveway and her door open to make sure I was okay. In our case, it was just a sign of a flag that was long, long overdue to be replaced and had ripped out of the grommets. We violated so many rules of flag etiquette, but rest assured, we will dispose of the flag properly.

Now, onto this week’s blog business. I posted about the most AMAZING EVER visit to Opus 40, a sculpture park in New York. I also wrote about how hard it is to take apart a piano. That post was the lead up to the reveal this coming Monday of what I did with that piano harp. Spoiler alert – my life flashed before my eyes at least once with this piano harp project!

Here’s the Happy List!


I haven’t eaten at Panera in ages. Frankly, it has not impressed me for awhile.

But! We had dinner there this week after my daughter’s orthodontist appointment. Getting her braces adjusted required some soft, comfort food in the form of macaroni and cheese.

Handy Husband and I both tried their new Baja Grain Bowl and loved it. They have a Mediterranean option too. The grain bowls are new to the menu, so my timing was good to give Panera another whirl.

I definitely did not get as many avocados as are shown in this picture. However, I don’t enjoy avocado, so that’s not a complaint.

(image: Panera)

That concludes this report.


Speaking of kids with braces, can’t wait to show my daughter this one. Somehow, I don’t think she’ll be impressed. Haha!

Tutorial at Handimania.

pumpkin with braces via handimania on the happy list

(image: Handimania)


The National Park Service Instagram account is, by far, my favorite thing lately. Whoever writes their captions and responds to commenters has a fantastic sense of humor and how often can you say that about the government?!?! This account brings me SO. MUCH. JOY.

“Tears are not hydration relief.”

View this post on Instagram

Are you prepared for a hike? If you are interested in hiking but don’t have a lot of experience, it can be a little overwhelming. We’re here to judge. Sorry. Help. We meant help.⁣ ⁣ Things to keep in mind…⁣ ⁣ Water: Hydration is an essential for any hike. Bring plenty of water. Two to three liters is generally a good rule of thumb, but if you are hiking in a hot, dry climate, you may need more. Thirsty? Your tears are not hydration relief.⁣ ⁣ Shoes: For most non-technical trails, your favorite pair of sneakers should do. For more advanced trails, a lightweight hiking boot with decent tread comes in handy. No, those flip flops won’t work. Are those crocs? Get lost.⁣ ⁣ Clothing: Always keep the weather in mind. Check the weather and bring appropriate layers so you can adjust as needed. The cape is nice but…⁣ ⁣ Extras: Sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, bug spray, and a map are good to have on hand. However, limit your accessories to the essentials? Really? How many pictures are you really going to take with the selfie stick? Remember, excessive gear dangling hillbilly-style from your pack can cause havoc on your balance and screams…well, it screams something…⁣ ⁣ Be prepared: It’s been said to study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail youuuuuuuuuuuuuu…… Oh. Didn’t see that hole. Know the terrain and stay alert on the trail to avoid potential pitfalls. You see, “pitfalls” is a metaphor for potential problems that may pop up. Also, we’re back at that hole.⁣ ⁣ Stay safe out there!⁣ ⁣ Image: An early morning picturesque view along hiking trail in the Hoodoos at Bryce Canyon. Ed Simon (sharetheexperience.org)⁣ ⁣ #FindYourPark #NationalParkService #Utah #BryceCanyon #Hoodoos #hiking101 #traillife @brycecanyonnps_gov

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One more! This one is funny too.

“This space has walls, a little pulpy, a ceiling, also a little pulpy…”

View this post on Instagram

NOW AVAILABLE! Unfurnished cactus space with desert views! ⁣ ⁣ FOR REAL! This space has walls, a little pulpy, a ceiling, also a little pulpy, and blocks the wind and rain! THAT’S RIGHT! Location is the BIZ-NISSS! Walk, or flutter, anywhere in excessive heat, while also enjoying beautiful desert living. HEY! Is that a scorpion?!?⁣ ⁣ The sleeping space is AMAZING! It’s actually all the same space, but the lack of built-ins, windows, doors, and closets allow for more room to bring in extra food supplies and other fly trinkets you’ve picked up on your way home. ⁣ ⁣ Outdoor space is limited and covered with large needle-like spines. Great for security. However, if out late on the desert, fly responsibly to avoid injury getting back into space! ⁣ ⁣ Is this the cactus for YOU? Serious inquires only!⁣ ⁣ Despite the spines, which prevent hungry animals from feasting on their tissues, saguaros serve as living quarters for birds such as Gila woodpeckers, which carve out nest holes in the plants. These birds typically wait several months before moving in to give the pulp of the cactus time to dry and create a solid casing around the cavity. If empty, other birds such as owls, martins, finches, and flickers are also eager for move-in ready housing.⁣ ⁣ Image: The northern flicker (Colaptes auratus) or common flicker models cactus living at Saguaro National Park, Arizona.⁣ ⁣ #FindYourPark #nationalparkservice #cactus #saguaronationalpark #arizona #desertliving #birds

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This space by Bria Hammel Interiors is so pretty. Calming, too.

You HAVE to go see the bunk room. It looks like a great place for all the cousins to crash.

lake home by bria hammel interiors on the happy list

(image: Bria Hammel Interiors)


Tuck this idea away for later.

UCreate shared this hilarious game they played at a family reunion. Glue candy to a t-shirt. Convince an adult to wear the shirt. Then play an epic game of tag. Hope they can run fast!

By the way, you would never convince me to wear the shirt. My kids would probably tackle me for the candy.


I saw this image in Sunset Magazine, but it is cropped. You need to go to Colossus Mfg. to see the entire room with the incredible ceiling.

The reason why I stopped on the photo is that quilt. Big fan of the black and white graphics. But then, look at that headboard. It looks like a live edge one and I wish I could see more of it.

Photo by Kat Alves, courtesy of Colossus Mfg. via Sunset Magazine on the happy list

(image: via Sunset Magazine photo by Kat Alves, courtesy of Colossus Mfg.)


Pumpkin beer pretzels with chipotle queso. Yes, please!

I’m going to have to try this recipe from Half Baked Harvest.

pumpkin beer pretzels from half baked harvest

(image: Half Baked Harvest)


I listened to this podcast about the dead cars in Alaska. Never occurred to me to think about what you do with old cars when there isn’t a garbage dump along your remote ice road. A little depressing, but it gave me something to ponder, so that’s why it is on today’s Happy List.

I read this inspiring story about a teacher who carried a 10-year-old student with spina bifida in a backpack so that she didn’t have to miss out on a field trip.

That’s it for the Happy List! I hope you have a great weekend and I will see you Monday!



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  • Sandy Smith

    What a nice neighbor to be so concerned. I think I learned something about flag etiquette. I didn’t know the sign of distress.

    I think the pumpkin with braces is kind of funny.

    The Baja Grain bowl looks delicious. You can send the extra avocados to me. I love them.

    I’m not sure why people hand on to old cars that don’t run. There are several places on Bridgeport Road that could get rid of some.

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